Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ: DENN), franchisor and operator of one of America's largest full-service restaurant chains, today issued the following statement on behalf of John Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Denny’s:
Comments from an owner of multiple franchises including Denny’s regarding his plans to offset the expected costs associated with the Affordable Care Act received considerable media attention in the last 24 hours. While we respect the decision of an independent business owner to speak out on this or other topics and express their personal views, his statements do not capture the respect by Denny’s, the Denny’s Franchisee Association or our franchise community at large for our hardworking employees or for our valued customers.
Unfortunately, the comments of this franchisee, who represents less than 1% of our system and who owns restaurants in other concepts, has been portrayed as reflective of the entire Denny’s Brand. I am confident his perspective is not shared by the company or hundreds of franchisees/small business owners who make up the majority of the Denny's community. Specifically, his comments suggesting that guests might reduce the customary tip provided to their server as an offset to his proposed surcharge are inconsistent with our values and approach to business throughout our Brand. Our restaurant team members work tirelessly day in and day out to create a pleasant dining experience for our guests and we believe they should be rewarded for providing the good service we are known for rather than penalized due to legislation. He has since revised his earlier position.
Denny's franchisee-owned and company restaurants are a vital part of their communities, providing jobs for local residents and a gathering place where our guests can come together to enjoy America’s Diner. Collectively we will continue to monitor the developments of the Affordable Care Act and any other legislation that may impact our team members, franchisees, employees and guests and will do the right thing as individuals, as a company and as a Brand.